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But first, a random weird meme!

How weird am I? )

I ended up not being able to go for the go-karting event like I planned because something important/urgent (in work terminology, a priority 0) came up at work at the last minute and I was stuck there the whole afternoon. :( But that was more than made up for by a wonderful birthday dinner at Blue Ginger with [livejournal.com profile] itsacz and another friend. ^_^

I'd had 육개장 (yook gae jang) the last time I went (which is very delicious and filling, and just the right level of spicy), so this time we decided to do a grill instead. We picked a table which had a flat grill, not a curved one, so that limited our choices somewhat ^^;; But the server was very helpful and offered us suggestions on which meats we could cook on our grill, so we ended up cooking boneless premium 갈비 (beef kalbi) and 돼지 갈비 (pork kalbi) the first time, and the second time with 불고기 (bulgogi). We also experimented with things like cooking seaweed and radish on the grill; it was interesting, but the seaweed still tasted like seaweed even after it was grilled. ^^;;;

Of course, since it was my birthday, we had to have a toast, so my friends bought a bottle of 소주 (soju). It had a pretty nice flavour, being slightly sweeter than normal rice wine yet not too sweet, and it went down quite well. ^_^; At 14% alcohol content (by volume), it was also pretty mild, which was good, since I was being driven back home. ^^;;; Reading the Wikipedia article may also be quite enlightening. I also now have an empty bottle in my kitchen. :P

One of the things that amused me greatly was that we ran into my Korean teacher while we were there. ^^;;; He wished me a happy birthday and told us a little bit about what he was going to cover next week. I'm really looking forward to the beginner-continuation classes that'll be starting next week and going on for the next 10 weeks! It's definitely cheaper than going to UW's summer classes ($500 per credit hour >_>) and in a way it's also much more fun being in a relatively small class (right now our class has about 10 people).

Today's my first driving lesson and I'm somewhat nervous about it because it's the first time ever that I'll be driving a car, but at the same time it's also something I have to do a very useful skill. I'm probably not going to give up cycling to work, though, in spite of what everyone says. ^^;;

고양이가 등을 화살모양으로 둥글게 구부르다~ 고양이가 야옹 울다~~ 고양이가 목을 가르랑거리다~~~!! <3
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This was totally not prompted by another trip report posted elsewhere

I met [livejournal.com profile] relsqui and [livejournal.com profile] testing4l on Friday afternoon at San Francisco airport, where they were picking me up from even though they don't actually live in SF. We had a nice time overall, eating at several different restaurants (a Jewish deli, a real Chinese restaurant, Pizz'a Chicago and a Mongolian BBQ - twice!), and I really enjoyed hanging out with them and having fun together. :)

I played Guitar Hero and Gran Turismo at their place, and although I didn't exactly do well in either game, I did enjoy myself lots. :) I also watched [livejournal.com profile] testing4l play Okami and Tony Hawk and he seems to be quite good at both.

The highlight of the visit was going to an impromptu "game night" that a friend of theirs organized, and I learnt a few things there:
- I definitely can't sing country music at all without failing totally.
- There are actually people who can sing country songs well, and perhaps more scarily actually know most of the songs featured in Karaoke Revolution Country.
- Somehow, I seem to do much better at singing songs featured on American Idol
- Karaoke Revolution is very addictive~ And a very good way of breaking the ice, even when I totally fail at singing country duets and the person I was singing with looked more and more embarrassed ^^;;;

[Edit: I totally forgot to mention TheTech Museum! >_< It was made of awesome and win, both for all the exhibits - how often do you get a chance to design a car starter, especially one that starts the car when the door is open? And whacking spam (literally) has such a therapeutic effect~ - and for the loads of fun I had there (including being in an 'earthquake', playing with lots of coloured foam tubes, and lots of other stuff). The IMAX movie we watched ("The Human Body") was also jaw-droppingly awesome, and I would totally go back to TheTech again just for the IMAX experience. XD I also bought several shirts and other things to remind me of my visit and to wear when I run out of clothes.]

Photos while I was there! )

I wish I had been able to stay longer, so that I could have seen more of California, spent more time with them and their cats, and even gone for a ride in the famous MR2. But it was still a good experience. :)

There was a minor scare at the airport when I thought I'd left my cellphone in their van, but it turned out that it was actually in a pocket of my bag. *embarrassed laugh* One unexpected benefit was that I got an exit row seat because there were three passengers on my flight who were willing to give up their seats and take a later flight...

I got home at around 1:15 am on Tuesday morning and promptly crashed in bed. XD

On Wednesday, there was a Korean documentary, 송환 (Repatriation), that marked the end of Korean movie screenings for this quarter and which I went for even though I was probably the only student in the audience.

More about the documentary )

I hope that I'll be able to take Korean classes again next quarter. ^^;; And in other news, I'm going to be playing in a cricket match on Saturday. o_o
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Yesterday was the second-last Korean class (the last one will be next week, I believe, and will have a movie screening) and it was kind of wistful in a sense that I might not be seeing the people from the class any more... though hopefully our teacher will conduct an intermediate class in the fall so that we can all learn together again

I was invited to dinner by a classmate and met her boyfriend (who works at Google) and an intern from Singapore (studying at UPenn) who had just started. It was a wonderful dinner at Malay Satay Hut. ^_^

Today I got several parcels from Amazon, one from TRSI with Planetes in it and one special one from back home. ^_^ And I also got my laptop back!! *dances in happiness*

I'm rather sleepy now though. ^^;
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19/05/2007 13:06:59 <&basket> 8-Squall, will my DVDs be here?
19/05/2007 13:07:00 <@PyRC> basket, the magic 8-Squall has spoken: Try asking in your LiveJournal(tm).

And they came today ♥~

Now to unlock configure my DVD player to play them back and then watch them~


May. 18th, 2007 08:42 am
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On Tuesday night, my Korean class went for dinner at Blue Ginger, a pretty popular (and good!) Korean restaurant in Bellevue (it's at the intersection of NE 20th St and 140th Ave NE). The restaurant was great and I had a large bowl of soup (of which I forgot the name now, but it was originally prepared with dog meat) with shredded beef chunks in it. It was really spicy, but it was wonderful. ^_^ We also found out more about our classmates and the teacher, including the fact that one of my classmates has been at Microsoft for 18 years. ^^;;;

Random note: fried kimchi and pork belly slices are wonderful~ Though not in soup ^^;;

On Wednesday night, I watched 깃 (A Feather), which was a somewhat slow but also quite moving movie about a "mediocre" film director, a piano, a hotel on an island, dancing the tango, and a promise... The scenery was very beautiful and I actually liked the movie, even if in some parts the pace seemed a bit slower than usual. ^^;; But I enjoyed the movie overall. ^_^

Last night (Thursday), the TV and DVD player that I'd ordered were delivered at around 9 pm, and it was pretty easy to set them up (within minutes, in fact).

Picture )

One more week until I meet [livejournal.com profile] relsqui, [livejournal.com profile] testing4l and their cats

Oh, and for some unknown reason, I started playing Clair de Lune. So far I can play it sounding nothing at all like the original. ^^;;;
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I watched 타짜   (Tajja - War of Flowers) on Wednesday, and it was a really interesting movie. It centered around several gamblers and various card games, and ways that people would cheat at the card games and double-cross each other. There was quite a bit of violence, blood, nudity, sex and other things, but those didn't detract from the story line at all. ^^;;

It was really a good movie and I was really fortunate to be able to watch it with a (Korean) classmate of mine and his friend. :)

The Open Mic went off pretty well, although I had forgotten to take a stand and bench, so I had to put my keyboard on a table and sit in a chair. ^^;;; The keyboard vibrated quite a bit, but I was still able to give a pretty good performance. I'll see whether I can share out the recordings once I get them...

[Edit] I performed Souvenir de Porto Rico, Swipesy and Maple Leaf Rag, and I think a lot of people were really enchanted by Souvenir. ^^;
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As part of the Korean language class, we're going to be watching 3 movies over the next few weeks~ hopefully with subtitles

Movies )

I'm looking forward to watching them. :)

Edit: fixed links
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Finished my Korean homework finally, so I can at least post some random observations:

손 + 수건 = 손수건
(hand + towel = handkerchief)

김치 + 식당 + 젓가락 = <3
(Gimchi + restaurant + chopsticks)

입 = 잎 ??
(Mouth = leaf?? They're apparently pronounced very similarly...)

맥주 < 물 <_<
(Beer is less than water)

고양이~ ^_^ <3
(This should be self-explanatory :P)
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Or is it week 5? I can't really remember ^^;;

We learnt how to greet people (both formally and informally), as well as "thank you", "excuse me", and quite a few other phrases.

I recorded myself speaking Korean, but I don't sound too confident about posting it up just yet. ^^;;; Apparently my pronunciation is okay, though?

And I should do my homework, too. :P
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It was really fun! Although this computer doesn't have the IME, and I can't remember the syllables offhand

We learnt a lot of words, including the words for "cat" (something I don't remember offhand), "radio" (very similar), "helicopter" (almost like an English transcription), "robot" and "carrot" (literally "sweet root"), as well as some terms like "restaurant", "embassy", "airport" and "restroom". Our teacher joked that if we ever got lost or woke up in Seoul, at least we would know how to find our way around and how to leave. ^^;;

Korean isn't actually *that* hard, at least at this level... And what intrigued me were how a lot of words are similar to Sanskrit/Dutch/Latin words, like "ganga" ("river") and "pang" ("bread"), and some others that I don't remember right now. ^^;;;

Looking forward to next week~
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I am seriously considering (re-)installing Semagic soon

Today's Korean class was really interesting, although we still haven't learnt any conversational phrases yet. ^^;; We went over the vowels and consonants we'd learnt from the previous week several times and I was really glad I had a cup of water, and then learnt some compound consonants (the "ssang-" group, as our teacher referred to them).

And then it was time to write our names in Korean! ^_^

Mine didn't turn out too bad, and [livejournal.com profile] chibi_nasu was actually correct with her version of it. ^^;; Some of the other names were really interesting to come up with, though...

Now let's see if my IME works

My name ended up being 다밀 (or 다밋), though 다미트 was kind of close but not really it...

Some of the other names, which I'm going to leave as an exercise for anyone who's interested, were 밐라, ㄷ다락란 유킨, 폴 and 하 시 (?). There were other names, but I didn't write them down, and it turns out I fail at writing the names I did write down, too... ^^;;;

I still need to memorize more characters... but at least now I know a few basic words (해, 아버지, 어머너, 치마), though my pronunciation is horrible. :P And I need to learn how to write characters properly. ^^;; And I still can't figure out how to type complicated vowels ^^;;;
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It was really interesting~

The teacher started off by asking people their reason for being in the class, and at least half the people said it was because of Korean films/movies/dramas, and one person said it was because of food~ xD He knew how to ask for kimchi, bibimbap and something else ^^;;;; Some of the people there had studied linguistics, and a few had studied Japanese or visited Korea before. One person was learning Korean because his girlfriend was Korean and he wanted to be able to hold conversations better with her parents beyond "hello", "goodbye" and "I'd like some more, please". XD

It was really informative learning about Korean history, culture, and going through the ways of pronouncing the various vowels and consonants (there was also some space for writing on the handouts, but I'm not sure when/if we'll get around to writing Korean characters). The textbooks are interesting, and it seems at least one of them is available in the MS Library for lending.

It was pretty fun seeing the teacher write his name out in Korean, and then towards the end say that his handwriting (for both Korean and English) wasn't that great. ^^;;;

As homework, I need to memorize all the vowels/consonants, and write/say my name in Korean. I don't think that's going to be very easy, but I'll try. :P We also need to start greeting each other in Korean, too. XD

There seem to be a lot more girls than guys in my class
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Today was pretty much uneventful, apart from the fact that I said I would leave at 9:30 and ended up leaving closer to 10:30 ^^;;;

The main highlight was a celebration party in downtown Bellevue, which I went for and had a lot of fun at. I found out that I apparently can make some difficult/tricky shots in pool (such as pocketing balls from various angles), but sometimes I can't even get simple shots right. ^^;;; There was also a karaoke machine, and there would've been prizes for the first person to sing, but..I didn't feel up to it. ^^;;;; Maybe next time, though~

After that, it was back to work until about 8 or so, when I decided to take a break and come back.

Tomorrow is going to be the first day of Korean classes. I'm worried nervously optimistic about how it'll go. ^^;;;;

But first, dinner time~ (Which means my last piece of turkey T_T)


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